A Dictionary and Text Corpus of the Karuk Language

Nettie Ruben (d. 1957)


(Source: Ron Johnson, Clarke Museum exhibit of Nettie Ruben's baskets)

Nettie Ruben is believed to have been born in the late 1870s and died in 1957. Her mother was called "Snappy", and she taught her daughter how to weave baskets. Nettie lived her life in the Orleans area and had no children of her own although she had a step-daughter, Louisa, from her marriage with Frank Ruben. While she could speak English, she preferred to speak Karuk. She rarely, if ever, sold baskets to dealers, instead selling them directly to both white and Indian collectors from her home.

Nettie also did crocheting, made clothes, arrows, and paper flowers. She made everything by hand, never using a sewing machine. Unfortunately, none of her crocheting or sewing has been located. She was also a great storyteller.

Nettie Ruben’s work is amazing in spanning the whole range of basket types. Moreover she was undoubtedly the most innovative of Karuk basket weavers. Hopefully this exhibition and catalog reveals that the beauty of her baskets and her innovations place her at the pinnacle of Northwest California basket weaving.

Texts associated with Nettie Ruben

audio icon An audio icon indicates available audio recordings. To sort, click on a column header. For example, click on "Year" to sort by year.

Year Title Text ID
1927   "Bluejay, Medicine-Man" DAF_KT_03
1957   "Coyote's Journey" WB_KL-01
1957   "Coyote's Homecoming" WB_KL-02
audio icon 1957   "Coyote's Homecoming" (second telling) WB_KL-02a
1957   "Coyote Trades Songs" WB_KL-07
1957   "Coyote as Doctor" WB_KL-11
1957   "Coyote As Lawmaker" WB_KL-15
1957   "Blue Jay As Doctor" WB_KL-29
1957   "The Story of Tan Oak Acorn" WB_KL-31
1957   "Lizard and Grizzly Bear" WB_KL-34
1957   "Why Towhee Has Red Eyes" WB_KL-36
1957   "The Adulterers Discovered" WB_KL-39
1957   "The Story of Bear" WB_KL-40
1957   "The Creation of Eels" WB_KL-41
1957   "The Story of Crane" WB_KL-42
1957   "Mockingbird and Swamp Robin" WB_KL-43
1957   "Why Lightning Strikes Trees" WB_KL-44
1957   "The Story of Skunk" WB_KL-46
1957   "The Origin of the Pikiawish" WB_KL-48
1957   "Medicine for the Return of a Sweetheart" WB_KL-49
1957   "Medicine to Get a Husband" WB_KL-50
1957   "The Boy from Itúkuk" WB_KL-57
1957   "The Pool in Big Rock" WB_KL-59
1957   "The White Man's Gifts" WB_KL-65
1957   "Deer Hunting" WB_KL-70
1957   "Bear Hunting" WB_KL-71
1957   "Elk Hunting" WB_KL-72
1957   "Making Acorn Soup" WB_KL-74
1957   "Work Contests" WB_KL-79
1957   "The Pikiawish at Katimin" WB_KL-83
audio icon 1949   Conversation and stick game medicine story WB_LA78.1-001
audio icon 1949   Conversation about doctors WB_LA78.1-003
audio icon 1949   "Blue Jay as Doctor" WB_LA78.1-004a
audio icon 1949   "Old Man Turtle" WB_LA78.1-004b
audio icon 1949   "The Boy from Itúttuk" WB_LA78.1-006
audio icon 1949   Conversation (mostly relating to the írahiv) WB_LA78.1-007
audio icon 1949   "How Coyote Traded Songs" WB_LA78.1-020